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“Stunningly beautiful but some facilities need improving”
Review of Canigao Island

Ranked #10 of 98 things to do in Leyte Island
Attraction details
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
1,981 reviews
852 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4,129 helpful votes
“Stunningly beautiful but some facilities need improving”
Reviewed September 18, 2012

I hired a sole use large banca for our group at a cost of P500 return: possibly when they saw a Caucasian face, the price rose from what I expected might be P300 return from Matalom to the island.

Boarding the banca involved travelling on a bamboo raft (a first for me) for 20 metres to the boat as it was relatively low tide. Boarding the banca was via a narrow gangplank but there was a crew of four so plenty of hands were able to assist.

The trip took 11 minutes in calm seas, though on the way back at 1400 the sea was a trifle choppier.

Initial;ly I thought of renting a nipa hut but the wind was a bit strong so we transferred to the side near the marine sanctuary. Admittance to the island was 60 pesos each: a table and three chairs under the shade of a pili nut tree cost 180 pesos. We were three or four metres if that from the stunning sandy waters.

I snorkelled but didn't go out far and hence saw few fish.

We went to the sari-sari stores and found a dampa whose proprietor steamed a huge amount of scallops (the smaller ones were best) for 100 pesos. One of my companions also tried three saang (sort of large seasnails) which he said were not as nice as the scallops: the three also cost 100 pesos. We gave the remaining delicious scallops to our boatmen on our return.

While one can buy biscuits and drinks on the island from the sari sari (small) stores, we instead went to stalls at Maasin City near Metro supermarket and bought a pineapple (cut on the spot) for 30 pesos and a kilo of mangoes for 60 pesos. We also bought snacks at the near new Metro supermarket.

Facilities on the island are run down (toilets especially): this needs a lot of attention.

However teh beach was clean apart from a few cigarette butts although I suspect rubbish disposal is a problem especially on weekends. However there were perhaps 10 other visitors on the weekday on which we went.

All in all this was a great way to spend two and a half hours but take 30 plus SPF sunblock, a hat and drinks. It was a far better experience than I expected sitting under the shade looking at great sand and water close by: the seas at teh marine sanctuary were calim. There are several operators at different Matalom departure points to take you to the island.

Visited September 2012
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7 Thank Victorianlad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Toulouse, France
Level Contributor
46 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Beautiful, but badly organized”
Reviewed August 12, 2012

For an afternoon or for a couple of days, Canigao Island is a place to see (and stay) in Leyte. The island sits at about one mile off the coast of Matalom.
The islet really is tiny. At low tide, you can actually walk around the place in a little bit more than thirty minutes. On the Northern side of the island, there is a fish sanctuary where fishing is prohibited. You can swim there and see many types of fish and corals, but the current can be tricky at times, so be sure to have fins.
On the Southern end, at low tide, a long sand beach shows up, offering beautiful scenery.
The island has a few cottages to rent for the night. The local government has also set up a few shops full of junk food On weekends, it can be very messy. A lot of people come there with their families. The local "tourists" can be quite a nuisance singing and drinking loudly until late at night and not being really respectful of other people on site.
Eventually, the place can get very dirty in a very small amount of time as people prefer throwing their litter (food, plastic, bottles, ...) on the floor - or worse in the water - than taking it back on land to a proper bin. Canigao is becoming far too popular for its surface ...
It is however an island with a white sand beach, rather calm on week days, and cheap ... Entrance is less than one dollar and staying overnight in a cottage will cost you about $5.
I hate to say that, but I think Canigao should be bought by a rich businessman to turn it into a beautiful nature-orientated resort without garbage and drunk people everywhere, in order to keep the environment intact.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
8 Thank Curufinwe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tacloban
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“a refreshing place...... perfect place for recollection....”
Reviewed April 10, 2012

the place was nice and perfect.... the only other side comment that i can say is about the maintenance of the island..... i would just propose to the local government of matalom, leyte to please ensure the cleanliness of the toilets and bathrooms.... the garbage should be dispose properly......

or maybe put warnings for all the tourists ( locals or foreign ) to keep the shore line clean all the time for the safety of all.....

overall the place was great....

we have already plan for the second visit to the island...
mabuhay philippines.... mabuhay matalom, leyte

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank roseteg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Versailles, Ohio
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Canigao Island is an island from a tourists' point of view shouldn't be the place to recommend to anyone to see.”
Reviewed January 13, 2011

I was excited that a member of the family asked me whether I would like to go spend the day in the island while I was in Leyte. The island is very tiny! I found out that the seashells were very delicious steamed! I love this part! We rented a cottage of which it wasn't the problem. The problem was using the bathroom!!!! Aside from the entrance fee to use the island, they charged each person to use the bathrooms depending on your usage, whether you're taking a shower or using the toilet!!!! The ocean was not really clean! It had some debris and trash floating around. I was very disappointed but tasted different kinds of seashells for the first time.

Visited June 2010
Helpful?
10 Thank ameck9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“VERY DISAPPOINTED”
Reviewed June 12, 2010

we just recently visited canigao Island. we were very disappointed it was very dirty, smelly, plenty flies and disgusting we found sanitary pads burried in the sand.

Helpful?
16 Thank tagals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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